Sunday, October 2 from 8.30pm at Heinz Field, Pittsburgh.
Money line odds:
Steelers -5 at Bovada.lv
THE Steelers will be hoping home ground advantage can turn things around after it suffered a horrible loss to the Philadelphia Eagles last week.
The season appeared to be heading in the right direction after wins against Washington and Cincinnati to start 2-0, but the 34-3 loss last week was merely a shadow of what this team can produce.
Pittsburgh’s record loss should give them a shot in the arm and it will be looking to bounce back against the Kansas City Chiefs which is coming off a big win of their own.
The Chiefs produced a stellar defensive effort against the Jets, holding the New Yorkers to only 3 points after they looked like one of the best offensive teams this year. The Chiefs enjoyed playing at home, but it lost at Houston in week two and faces another tough home opponent here.
Kansas City doesn’t have a great record playing in Pittsburgh, but this is prime time football and certain players like to play under the lights. For the Chiefs, it’s coach Andy Reid who is used to the limelight after his days coaching the Eagles.
Sunday night football promises to bring the heavyweight defense of two teams looking to make an early playoff run.
Why the Pittsburgh Steelers can win
Big Ben Roethlisberger is one reason the Steelers can win, but he won’t be happy with his six touchdown/four intercept total this season.
Leading receiver Antonio Brown is going his part with 305 yards on 24 receptions, but having scored only two touchdowns is a touch off his best and that is largely due to the Steelers ineffectiveness in the red zone.
The Steelers defense will need to stop the run, which it couldn’t do last week against the Eagles and defensive end Cam Heyward believes there is room for improvement.
“There is room for improvement all around, whether it’s the pass rush, not tackling well, not rallying to screens better, not winning third downs. We got our (butts) kicked. I’ll simply say it like that. I got my (butt) kicked. We all got our (butts) kicked. We’re going to learn from it,” Heyward said.
If that’s not some clear motivation to come out swinging this week, then the Steelers could find themselves in serious danger of missing the playoffs.
The best reason as to why the Steelers can win this Sunday is the return of running back Le’Veon Bell, who will be used in a dual-running back system with DeAngelo Williams who has run for 258 yards this season.
Bell had a standout season last year, but was handed a three-game suspension to start this season. Bell is the key factor to the Steelers success and bettors will be hoping to see him at his best against the Chiefs.
Why the Chiefs can win
The Chiefs bring in plenty of momentum after stifling the New York Jets offense last week. The Chiefs defense and special teams forced eight turnovers and against a Pittsburgh offensive line which is struggling, it could be open season this Sunday night.
On the offensive side of the ball, the Chiefs have been solid with quarterback Alex Smith throwing for three touchdowns and one interception. Smith has never been a flashy QB and usually checks down for a few yards every play.
Spencer Ware has filled in nicely for the injured Jamaal Charles in running for 202 yards and one touchdown. The Chiefs like to run the ball hard through the middle of the defense and that should work against the Steelers.
The shining light has been Travis Kelce who, on only 17 receptions, had gone for 197 yards. His performances so far this season have been great and expect Kelce to star again against the Steelers.
Steelers vs. Chiefs game prediction
There is positive and negative aspects to both sides this week, but ultimately there are a couple of tried-and-tested factors in favor of one team.
The Steelers are very tough to beat at Heinz Field and the Chiefs don’t have a good record playing there. Coming off a tough outing last week, expect the Steelers to start the game strong and put the Chiefs into an early bind.
This will force Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith to go through the air which could force turnovers against a Steelers defense eager to make amends for last week.